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AUTHOR'S NOTE                                                                                             13
The novel Gold is based on a true story of two modest
bank employees—a girl and an old man—who carried
a sack of gold across the firing lines during the war. The
prototype of the heroine of the novel Doctor Vera is the
surgeon of an army hospital who in 1942 remained behind
in occupied territory near Kalinin and saved the lives of
hundreds of wounded Soviet soldiers. On a Wild Bank, a
novel about a huge building project in Siberia, is also
based on real facts. I don't think this authenticity is
extraordinary. Our socialist life, which is changing con-
tinually in its forward movement, daily, hourly lays bare
before a writer unusually interesting, simple and yet re-
markable subjects. Soviet people are attaining heights
of labour and military valour and performing deeds in
the name of their country that defy even the most fervid
imagination. And what an endless variety of characters
our Soviet reality unfolds to a writer!
Newspaper work constantly brings me into contact
with the most interesting people of our day and permits
me to observe their life and work. Journalism sharpens
the eye and the ear. So far as I am concerned, facts
brought out from life make up for any lack of artistic
I am not in the least embarrassed that my heroes con-
tinue the narration with the lives they lead outside the
pages of my books. A writer experiences double joy as he
observes these people living happy lives teeming with
activity and creation.
There is great happiness in being a writer of the Land
of Socialism!